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Isabel Healthcare Blog

Why does my stomach hurt? Epigastric pain symptoms and causes

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Oct 17, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Everyone has experienced stomach pain at some point in their life. Often the cause is obvious, such as a stomach bug or too many sit ups at the gym, and the symptoms will disappear in a day or two. Sometimes, however, the cause of a stomach ache isn’t clear, and this can be quite unnerving. There are a few clues when assessing the cause of a stomach ache, and one of these clues is the location. If your stomach ache is in a particular area of the stomach, or abdomen, you can eliminate other causes and narrow down to the cause. One such type of stomach ache dictated by the area of the abdomen is called epigastric pain.

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Could I have stomach cancer? Stomach cancer symptoms and diagnosis

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Oct 10, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Take a look at the stats for Stomach Cancer, also known as Gastric Cancer, and you’ll realise it’s not an easy one to diagnose. Out of an estimated 28,000 cases in the US each year, nearly a third, 10,960, are expected to die. The figures in the UK are even worse with only 15% of patients expected to live beyond 10 years. The real clue lies in the fact that nearly a third of British patients first present with the illness in their emergency or A&E department, and given that the typical initial symptoms such as indigestion, wind or heartburn aren’t exactly emergency symptoms, this implies that most patients are experiencing a substantial and often fatal delay in getting a diagnosis. As stomach cancer symptoms are often easily mistaken for less serious conditions, it’s understandable that both patient and doctor won’t suspect a potentially fatal cancer as the cause. Which is why we’ve devoted this week’s blog to discussing the symptoms and when to seek advice, in the hopes we can help sufferers present much earlier to their doctor and consequently find a cure.

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What is wrong with my lungs? 5 lung conditions to be aware of

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Oct 03, 2019 @ 12:22 PM

We all know that our lungs are a vital organ, necessary to keep us alive, and if we don’t have a medical career, we can probably remember some of the information we were taught at high school and that’s about it. Something to do with aioli? Or is that the garlic dip? The good news is that for our bodies to work, we don’t need to know what they’re doing, they are able to function by themselves. But what happens when we get a pain, a rash, or an ache that we’ve never had before, and our body is unable to work as well as it usually does? With something as vital as the lungs, this can be quite alarming, and we suddenly wish we’d paid more attention in biology class. Difficulty breathing and pains in our chest are definitely not symptoms to be ignored, and knowing what the symptoms mean, how to spot them, and what to do next is really important. You should always talk to your doctor if you have any new symptoms that don’t go away, but researching the symptom yourself with a credible symptom checker can really help you and your doctor to reach a diagnosis quicker. Here are the most common causes of problems in your lungs and their symptoms.

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10 myths about suicide - international suicide prevention month

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Fri, Sep 27, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Around the globe, September is Suicide Prevention Month. National Suicide Prevention day was earlier in the month in the UK, whilst September 8th-14th was Suicide Prevention Week in the US.  Although the ways we talk about suicide and mental health have been improving in recent years, there is still a huge stigma attached to the subject, and talking about suicidal thoughts and feelings. Suicide is on the rise globally, with 800,000 people dying by suicide last year, so it’s more important than ever that we raise awareness, to try and stop so many people dying from suicide.

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Iron deficiency anemia in infants and children - Signs and symptoms

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Sep 19, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Iron deficiency symptoms, as we explored last week in our blogpost, are common in pregnant women and in women who experience heavy periods. Another predominant age group at risk of iron deficiency symptoms are infants and children. In this week’s post we will explore how iron deficiency manifests in the under 18’s and symptoms to be aware of, which can give you an early warning that your infant or child is becoming iron deficient.

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Could I have iron deficiency anemia? Iron deficiency symptoms

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Sep 12, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Answering yes to this question is much more likely than you’d think. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 25% of the world’s population is affected by anemia, with half of these cases being due to low iron levels – that’s a staggering 2 billion people. If this is the case, why don’t we know more about the condition and why aren’t more people being treated for it? Part of the explanation lies in the fact the symptoms can be non-specific, they can easily be confused with other illnesses, and can come on very gradually. They can also disappear temporarily before returning, perhaps under a slightly different guise. Other sufferers may have visited their doctor complaining they just feel constantly under the weather, as tiredness and lethargy are the most common symptoms, and been told they just have a virus. Pregnant women and those who have recently given birth are most likely to be iron deficient, as are those who have heavy periods. But unfortunately it’s not always just a simple case of getting a blood test as, depending on the type of deficiency you have, your results could be misinterpreted leaving the patient once again with no explanation for their symptoms and putting them down to just ‘life’.

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Spotting Stevens-Johnson syndrome - symptoms and causes of SJS and TEN

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Fri, Aug 30, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

August is the awareness month for Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), an extremely rare and life threatening disease that can develop over mere hours, and is often missed or left untreated for too long. A rare disease is categorized as a disease that affects less than 5 in 10,000 people in the UK, and in the US it is any disease that affects fewer than 200,000 people at any time, which is about 5 in 7,500. SJS affects around 2-6 people in every million, so it certainly passes the rarity test. At Isabel, which started as a charity after the misdiagnosis of a rare disease, we try to shed a light on rare diseases, particularly those that require timely diagnosis, and particularly those that often affect children. In this blogpost we’ll go over the signs and symptoms to spot in SJS, and explain the causes of this serious condition.

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Could I have Bell’s palsy? Symptoms and treatment for Bell’s palsy

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Fri, Aug 23, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Bell’s palsy can be very frightening to experience or witness, and cause great alarm. Over a matter of hours, muscles in the face begin to lose function, and many mistake these temporary symptoms for the more serious condition of a stroke. While not as medically threatening as a stroke, Bell’s palsy, which most commonly occurs in those between the ages of 15 and 45, is an acute condition that should be treated within hours to encourage the best prognosis. In this blogpost we’ll explain the condition further, talk about the symptoms to look out for and how to differentiate between Bell’s palsy and a stroke, and what to expect with treatment and recovery.

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1 Minute Read -  Aplastic Anemia Differential Diagnosis

Posted by Mandy Tomlinson on Thu, Aug 15, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Aplastic anemia is a rare life-threatening disorder with hypocellular bone marrow, where the bone marrow cannot make enough new blood cells. This hypocellular bone marrow results in pancytopenia, which is low reticulocyte, granulocyte and platelet counts. We’ve written about pancytopenia before if you’d like to know more about that. Each year between 2-5 people per 1 million are affected by aplastic anemia.  Aplastic anemia occurs most frequently in young adults between 10-25 years old, as well as patients older than 60 years.

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Could I have skin cancer? Melanoma symptoms and causes

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Aug 08, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

With daily reports of rising temperatures due to climate change, it’s no surprise that skin cancers are also on the rise. We wrote only a month ago about how to protect ourselves against the hot summer sun and the potential dangers to look out for, which you can read here. This month, we are looking in more detail at the potential dangers caused by exposure to the sun – or more specifically, skin cancer. As there are two different categories of skin cancer, each with their own characteristics , there is a lot of confusion about just how dangerous skin cancer can be with many thinking a suspicious-looking mole can be easily removed with no further complications. Luckily this is the most common scenario, but as we will see, some skin cancers can have much more serious implications.

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